Letter to the Editor: If it weren’t for the firefighters, we might not be here

Julie Koster

I live in the adjoining side to the duplex that caught fire in Frisco on Jan. 4.

Getting jostled from home at bedtime, with a 4-year-old, is not something that anyone would expect. But thanks to the rapid response by the Frisco Police Department and crews from Copper, Frisco, Dillon and Tiger Road — our home and our family is still here.

While our side was technically “habitable” as described in the article on Jan. 5, it sustained a substantial amount of smoke infiltration and required multiple days of mitigation. We lost electricity during the fire. Power was not restored to our side of the duplex until Thursday afternoon. In addition to smoke, we were dealing with potential of pipes bursting due to lack of heat and subzero overnight temps.

The fire side of our duplex had one smoke alarm in the stairwell, a shock to us to find out afterwards. We are lucky that folks were in the house when the fire started and that they called 911. Had they not made that call, we may not have known about the fire until our entire building was engulfed in flame. By then, it would have been too late for us.

In our real-life fire drill, I learned a few things: You will likely have only a few minutes to get out. Keep an extra phone charger in your vehicle. Passports/birth certificates should be kept close to your exit. Have a small bag of essentials in your vehicle with a change of clothes, blanket, gloves and non-perishable snacks. And this one is critical: make sure you have functional smoke detectors throughout your house, in every space. The life you save might just be your own — or your neighbor’s kids.

Thank you, firefighters. We are forever grateful.

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